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DID YOU READ

In praise of ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER.

In praise of ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER. (photo)

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This year’s top tens are arriving in the double-barrel barrage of both the year and decade. And in these trying times of redundancy and the self-righteous promotion of one’s own taste as the ultimate truth, we need a hero. We need someone who says what they mean and is clear on it while also being entertaining. We need, in short, someone like ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER.

For those of you who don’t read the Onion‘s AV Club on a regular basis, ZMF is a sort of mascot, punching bag and the best. Commenter. Ever.

Essentially, he is (or claims to be, and he’s been way too consistent for way too long for me to doubt him) a guy from the Midwest who loves the heaviest of metal (Slayer are his gods) and the most violent of film. He writes in all caps and spends a lot of time telling various haters to get off his dick. A major criteria for what he loves is “ownage,” in which violence isn’t just extreme but assertive and possessive. And, within these criteria, he’s shockingly on point, discriminating not one bit on levels of arty presumption or genre. He’s actually pretty open-minded.

For instance, this year ZMF is all about “The Hurt Locker” : “THE LOCKER FUCKING OWNS AND EVERYBODY HERE IS ASSIGNED TO SEE IT I AM MANDATING THAT SHIT SO WHEN THIS SHIT COMES TO DOUCHBAG WISCONSIN OR BITCHASS TEXAS OR WHEREVER THE FUCK YOU ALL LIVE YOU WILL GO SEE THE LOCKER […] TOTAL FUCKING OWNAGE BITCH AND YOU WILL GET OWNED WAR IS AWESOME AND THE LOCKER IS AWESOME.”

Beyond that he was most pumped for “Crank 2” — which he loved so much he did a commentary for — and Neveldine/Taylor’s underrated follow-up “Gamer,” a movie I liked as well. “I AM HERE TO REPORT THAT NEVELDINE AND TAYLOR ARE THE FUCKING FUTURE OF MOVIES,” ZMF exulted, which is at least as succinct and pointed as what The Auteurs Notebook had to say about it.

His track record for the last two years is just as solid. In 2008, he top ten’d “The Dark Knight” and “Funny Games” as one and two, without caring one whit about Michael Haneke’s pretensions. He even found room for Stuart Gordon’s underrated “Stuck” at number four. True, the list also included “Saw V” and “Body of Lies,” but the point here is that ZMF recognizes violence and doesn’t care about pretension — or, more importantly, what might be perceived as pretension, which is more than can be said for many critics.

In 2007, he was on point about the Oscar nominations: “GONE BABY GONE GETTING ONE JACKOFF NOMINATION AND NO NOMINATIONS FOR ZODIAC. WHAT THE FUCK? YOU WANNA TELL ME THAT SOME WACK AS FUCK MOVIE ABOUT SOME DUMB BITCH GETTING KNOCKED UP IN HIGH SCHOOL IS BETTER, FUCK ALL THAT.” And he was right!

He’s also exhibited some detailed knowledge of movies going back at least to the ’70s, as when he recently chastised an errant AV Club writer by positing a sort of cultural education which would end with her ” WRITING WALTER HILL FANMAIL AND SHIT AND WATCHING DEVILS REJECTS ELEVEN TIMES IN A WEEKEND.” More people should talk about both Walter Hill and “The Devils Rejects.”

ZMF is hilarious, and his taste isn’t bad when he leaves the “Saw” playpen. Would I prefer this to Armond White’s ideology-before-criticism stance? Yes. Yes, I would. Would I vastly prefer it to the doddering voices propping up movies like “Precious” and “An Education” and so on? Oh, absolutely. Own or be owned: godspeed, ZMF.

[Photos: “The Devil’s Rejects,” Lions Gate Entertainment, 2005; “Stuck,” THINKFilm, 2008]

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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